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+44 (0) 203 303 3172
17th February 2015
This post also appears on the Linked-In page of The Association of Professional Sales
Of all the qualities now required of a sales professional, I believe the ability to persevere should be in the top three characteristics. Coupled with a determination to succeed and tenacity, or “Bulldog spirit”, the ability to battle away, on occasions without the guarantee of reward, is key to sales success. Winston Churchill famously remarked “never give up, never give up”. Wise words.
Many of my early days on the salesforce were spent canvassing along many of London’s thoroughfares looking for an opportunity to sell my particular brand of office equipment machinery. The rule of thumb is that one had to contact every company on one’s patch. My first sales manager, Tony Butler, would always insist that “no stone should be left unturned”. His advice was spot on. It’s all too easy to return to the office at 4.30 in the afternoon, whereas one would be wise to stay out a little longer. On many occasions, the last “cold canvass call” could result in an impromptu meeting and even a sale if the circumstances allowed. Going the extra mile maybe a cliché but it’s based on a truism.
One of my colleagues, John, spent countless weeks and months trudging up and down a particular route in South London trying to get a foot in the door. His “patch” wasn’t as lucrative as other parts of London but he wanted to out do the high-performers every now and again. And every now and again he did just that. Through hard work, grit and determination John turned a previously barren area in to one of the most productive in London. Getting to know your area and being there and gently reminding prospects of your existence will prove dividends. I guess we all used to do “relationship selling” before the term was used by those who sell big-ticket items.
Having A Positive Attitude
In order to persevere, one must have a positive mental attitude. Nowadays, the term used in “having the right mind-set” – this goes much further than just perseverance. Motivation and resilience or “bouncebackability” are both of equal importance. But how do you foster an attitude of perseverance? I believe it’s all about setting goals:
Finally, it’s worth remembering these words which were mentioned to me in that first sales role:
“Polite Persistency Pays”